Winless for 3 games and just a point above the relegation zone, Salgaocar FC look to stem the rot against the currently unbeaten league leaders...
Naoba, Okpara, Mondal, Saumik Dey
Harmanjot, Mehtab, Ishfaq
Nicolau, Luciano, Rahul, Collin;
Gilbert, Randeep, Jacobs, Rocus, Francis;
East Bengal take on Salgaocar at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, hoping to extend their unbeaten streak to 8 games this season.
Needless to say, Trevor Morgan’s side is the team to beat in the league this season. After 7 games, they have just conceded a solitary goal. What makes it even impressive is that they have already faced sides like Dempo SC, Pune FC and Churchill Brothers, who have proven goal-scoring talent in their ranks.
The Kolkatan outfit’s one weak point this season had been their ability to convert chances into goals, but against ONGC they showed that finally their strike-force might be clicking into gear.
Morgan will be hoping that Chidi Edeh shakes off his minor niggle to start alongside Manandeep Singh.
While East Bengal are favourites heading into the game, the Englishman, who is up against a countryman in the shape of David Booth, sounded a cautionary note in the build-up to the game.
“The team (Salgaocar) is going through a phase of transition and such sides can produce a good result any time,” Morgan said with a note of caution about his opponent.
Salgaocar meanwhile are going through a lean phase themselves, having gone winless in their last three encounters.
Can Booth stem the rot?...
The Goans have had serious troubles on both ends of the pitch following the off the field drama surruonding former coach Karim Bencherifa as their officials are busy focussing the now Mohun Bagan coach than having their own house in order.
The club has failed to find the back of the net with enough regularity this season, with just 6 goals to show so far, with neither of their foreign recruits, Sean Rooney and Angel Guirado really playing to their potential
At the back too Salgaocar have failed to replace Khelemba Meitei, and the defense which looked so solid last season, has been nothing short of woeful this term.
Pressure will be on Booth, even at this nascent stage of his stint with the Goans, to pull the team away from a shocking relegation battle.
East Bengal – Robin Singh came off the bench in the last game, and therefore should be available for selection from the start if needed. He will most probably though start from the bench, if Chidi Edeh manages to shake off a minor niggle.
Salgaocar FC – The Goans will be without the services of Angel Guirado, who is away on national duty. Sean Rooney is therefore most likely to start upfront.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- In their last 5 meetings, Salgaocar hold the edge, having won 3, while Trevor Morgan’s side managed to edge out the Goans 1-0 in the other two.
- However the match-winner on both those occasions. Tolgay Ozbey, now plies his trade with their city rivals Mohun Bagan.
- So far this season, East Bengal have the most miserly defense. Their Goan visitors meanwhile have the worst attack alongwith Air India, having scored just 6.
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